Xeriscaping OUR YARD PART TWO

 

Day 8, 9 and 10:  The roots of the trees are winning, Jeff is having a difficult time removing the sod with 2 to 6 inch maple tree  roots buried beneath the sod.  Averaging 3 strips a day , it’s not going well.

Day 11:   8:30 am July 3rd- pressure is building on the time frame to accomplish the xeriscape before the Texans arrive on the 11th. Jeff is just getting started and on his 3rd row with 22′ to go and tree roots getting bigger and more plentiful as he nears the Mother tree. New Neighbors stop by to chat and say it looks well when a Ford PU pulls near the curb with a Dodge PU right behind. Jeff realizes that it is Steve from La Pine who has been taking the sod. He ask the neighbor to look out for the sod loaders have arrived. Arrived they did. Two trucks and 6 people with tools. Jeff says hes sorry but probably only has enough sod for 1 load. Steve informs him that they are not here to just load the sod but to help remove it till it is done and loaded. Jeff not believing his ears. Two hours thirty minutes later as the dust settles and drinks of water and tea with snacks it is done! Jeff can’t thank Steve and his crew enough. This puts him 3 days ahead of schedule.

CREW – Steve, Dave, J.J. and his sons Dominic, Simeon and Aidan

Now the fun begins, with the sod removed we need to prepare, move and modify the existing sprinkler system. So glad Jeff is a retired plumber, so  off we go to Home Depot for sprinkler supplies, ground cloth  etc.

Our total cost for this project so far is remaining zero, but just wait until we return from Home Depot, it could get ugly.

Ground Prep $0.0

Sod Removal $0.0

Home Depot $500.00

pea gravel, metal stakes, fabric pegs, fabric cloth 2 rolls, Plants –  6 mondo grass, 1 hibiscus,, 6 black mondo grass, woolly thymus, pathway lawn edging, irrigation risers, micro tubing, pvc bushings, pvc pipe, 8 drain valves and more gravel for Jeff’s custom pathway.

Ace Hardware – $ 59.48 Pea gravel and 1/4″ drippers

Abel Supply – $ 444.50  Rocks 10 yards

Deschutes Recycling – $21.00 Soil

Harbor Freight – $50.00 Garden Pick, Hose Connectors electricians screwdriver – etc

It’s been a major project doing it ourselves, but in the long run we have saved a lot of money and Jeff has lost or sweated off a lot of weight, in another week he says he will have a 6 pack (we will see). LOL. Our neighbor 2 doors down had professional landscapers Xeriscape her yard for over  $4000.00. In the long run we hope to save a lot on our water bill and enjoy not feeding, weeding, mowing and grass clippings to go somewhere.

So 5 yards of rock to go and the pleasure and enjoyment of our Xeriscaping. More water to our rivers and lakes which is my playground. Updates to be coming upon completion. Family is here and time to play and enjoy the grandkids and the big ones too.

Cheers From JUST AROUND THE BEND

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Wallowa Oregon Road Trip

ROAD TRIP FOR JUST AROUND THE BEND

We aren’t used to leaving home without ” Rufus” our home on wheels, but we have super good friends in Enterprise Oregon who invited us to visit for a long weekend. Took us about two minutes to think it over and next thing you know we are on a road headed to Enterprise, Oregon near the majestic  Wallowa’s. It took about 8 hours of driving to reach our destination, but well worth it, beautiful scenery, good roads and plenty of fueling stations along with lots of good coffee stops (super important).♥

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Wallowa Mountains

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Dave and Jen

Dave and Jen are great tour guides, taking us to some of the most beautiful country that remains to this day untouched by man. Below is a picture of a prairie that has never been plowed or planted by man and  where buffalo still roam freely.

Next stop on our tour was the Ferguson Ridge Ski Area. Talk about take you back in time, this is how it should be. Small, quaint and well maintained. The people here all know each other and meeting at the ski lift is a family event. It even has a very interesting art piece as you enter the ski area. Open Saturday and Sundays, $20.00 for an adult and $10.00 for under 15 years of age. WOW what a deal.

Most of the people that live in this tight knitted countryside are cattle or hay farmers.On this day we ran into a woman herding cattle right down the middle of the roadway on a four wheeler and beside her in an infant seat was her baby.The cattle you see are very specially raised on all natural pasture, no antibiotics and Organic all of the way.  I was ready to move to Enterprise.

It was time for coffee, right!  And maybe a bite to eat.So off we headed to The Red Horse Coffee Traders, who roast their own beans in house and it is fabulous. Our friends highly suggested a Quinoa Bowl, whole size$ 12.00 and half $8.95. We opted for of course the whole bowl and split it, glad we did as it was enormous, but so, so good. Fresh organic ingredients with layers of flavors indescribably delish. If you are ever near Joseph, Oregon look them up you won’t be sorry.

Menu includes: Coffee, Breakfast, Lunch, Breads and Pastries-everything is made with fresh local organic ingredients and  made from scratch in house. Yum

Now that we are stuffed, we needed a walk and our tour guides had another brilliant idea, to walk The Nez Perce Trail. Talk about the most beautiful country, this scenic trail was a easy walk with views of the mountains and  takes you to the beginning of  Wallowa Lake, just spectacular. Good job tour guides. ♥

How do you top all of this off, between the fun stores in Joseph and the amazing places to eat, besides the walking tours, it just doesn’t get better-RIGHT. Well there is always another stop that is one of the best restaurants we have ever eaten at. This will be our 4th time to eat here and reservations must be made, believe me make reservations weeks before you plan to visit.

Vali’s Alpine Restaurant, 59811 Wallowa Lake Hwy, Joseph, Oregon 97846. A wonderful family restaurant, featuring one entree a night including Hungarian classics like

 Chicken Paprikas and Kettle Goulash with Fry Bread (lángos).  You can still get Schnitzel on Sundays and hot fresh homemade doughnuts on the weekends!  Not to mention their amazing desserts all made in house, from scratch with fresh organic ingredients. Needless to say we had another  fabulous dinner and a truly special time with our best friends ever.

Sad to say we must return to Bend, with of course heavy hearts at saying until next time. Dave and Jen  have been so much fun and catching up on old times was healing for especially Jen and I. So goodbye my friends, until our next adventure.

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FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND (LIZ) ♥

Change Of Command Ceremony

JULY 15, 2016

U.S.C.G. STATION PORTLAND
CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY
The change of command ceremony was a grand ceremony to welcome our son Ian to Station Portland from Coast Guard Station San Francisco and to say goodbye to retiring Senior Chief Kellian Whidden. Coast guard personal greeted us as we arrived on base, checked our ID and personal invitation, and advised us to proceed to reserve family parking. We had our 96 YEAR OLD dad with us, a Navy veteran of WWII who was also a Chief, just entering the base brought tears to his eyes, he was suddenly going back in time of memories when he served his country. Being the family of the new Officer in Charge, we were escorted to family seating ,to our direct right was Ian’s new crew, all dressed up in there blues and at attention. I suddenly felt like I was at the inauguration of the President of the United States. Throughout the ceremony with personal awards and commendations of both Chief Ian and Senior Chief Whidden we were PROUD. They even gave special recognition to our dad Richard James Brian Thompson as the oldest retired military personal attending, it was a very special moment. Lots of Kleenex please.
Chief Boatswains Mate Ian Thompson
BMC Thompson enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 2000 from his hometown of Portland, Oregon at the age of nineteen. Upon graduating from training center in Cape May New Jersey, he reported to his first assignment to serve as a Seaman Apprentice abroad the Coast Guard Cutter ALERT, (WMEC 630) in Astoria, Oregon. His subsequent tours include:
Coast Guard Station NOYO River, Ft Bragg
Coast Guard Cutter MELLON, Seattle, WA
Coast Guard Cutter KISKA, Hilo, Hi
Coast Guard Station, Rio Vista, Ca
Coast Guard Station San Francisco where he served as Executive petty officer
Ian’s personal awards consist of the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, (3) Coast Guard Achievement Medals, a Commandants Letter of Commendation Ribbons and numerous other personal rewards. We could not be more proud of our son as he has grown into a fine outstanding leader, I’m sure he isn’t finished yet with his achievements, grass never grows under Ian’s feet, THE THOMPSON’S NEVER STAND STILL.
On a personal note, of course, we are his parents; Ian is a wonderful son and husband to Alicia. He so reminds me of his dad with the respect and love he shows his family (Alicia) every day. We know without Alicia’s support, love and holding down the home front, times would have been a lot harder and let’s face it, having the perfect spouse just helps. Here are a few personal pictures of a very special family day. 

After the ceremony its time for some family fun with the family, BBQ at Ian and Alicia’s beautiful new home and was it wonderful. 

CHEERS FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND JEFF AND LIZ